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Far fewer traffic officers on patrol in Roseville

The start to 2015 was a deadly one in Roseville, California, with three separate pedestrian fatalities occurring in less than two weeks in January. Then, a four-car accident left several people seriously injured.

Similar accidents occurred throughout 2014, and some worry that the trend is a direct result of fewer traffic officers patrolling the city’s roads.

According to a late-January report from the Roseville & Granite Bay Press Tribune, in 2008, Roseville had 15 traffic officers patrolling the streets and today that number is down to only two. 

It was also reported that Roseville police issued 17,200 fewer traffic tickets for speeding, drunk driving and other dangerous driving behaviors in 2014 than they did in 2008.

Last year, the Roseville City Council only provided the police department with a budget to employ three traffic officers, which is the lowest number in five years. Issues such as injuries, retirements and departures have kept the number of traffic officers even lower than it needs to be, the Tribune reported.

A Roseville police spokeswoman admitted that the department is “short-staffed,” but insisted that the total number of “reported collisions and DUI-related collisions are down from 2008 levels.”

Even so, locals in the area say that the city isn’t doing enough to keep the streets safe. The family of a pedestrian who was killed in January while crossing Douglas Boulevard said they can’t believe all of the traffic deaths and injuries that are occurring in the area.

Another resident said he is “disgusted” with the way the city has handled road safety, especially on a stretch of Harding Boulevard where four pedestrian deaths and two near-fatalities have occurred over the past eight years.

Ultimately, the state and local municipalities have a duty to keep roads safe for drivers and pedestrians. They can be held liable for breaching this duty in some situations when people are seriously injured or killed.

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